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The Danger of Comparing Yourself to Other Photographers

The Danger of Comparing Yourself to Other Photographers

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There I sat at the end of October feeling drained and useless.  Shoot, shoot, shoot… edit, edit, edit is all that seemed to be going through my head.  Lacking inspiration and feeling like something was missing I started browsing blogs and Facebook pages of other photographers.

While surfing, I’d found my remedy, “I just need to go vintage! I love looking at vintage photographs and I love the look of film photography.”  I put together a vintage style shoot and I was excited and inspired.  I came home from the shoot and started editing them.  Something felt wrong.  Those pictures weren’t me.

I was trying to feel better about myself by imitating looks I liked.  It didn’t work and I felt more discouraged.  After some late night soul searching, I realized I won’t ever feel good about my work by comparing it to other artists and photographers.

Here are 4 ways I came up with to be more confident about my photography while still pushing myself. Try them and let us know what works for you.

  1. Set Goals.  Setting goals for yourself and your business gives you something to strive for.
  2. Evaluate those goals.  Evaluating your goals every few months gives you the ability to see if you are progressing.
  3. Base your progress of YOU not others.  Comparing your 2010 images to your 2011 images is a much better way to chart progress then comparing your photographs to Jane Doe Photography’s photos
  4. Keep it real.  I don’t think newer photographers know their style right away. It is fine to get inspiration from the work of others, without actually copying.  Stick to what feel right and fits you rather than trying to duplicate every detail.

This article was written by Kristin Wilkerson, a Utah based photographer. You can find her on Facebook too.

 

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24 Comments

  1. February 2, 2012 at 9:06 am —

    The title really says it all here. The 2012 goal is to truly explore some creativity and take the shots I really want to take instead of being a slave to a buyer’s market. And if I fall flat on my face, that’s ok, because at least I tried rather than submit to trends and the whims of others.

  2. February 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm —

    I am a fan of Joe McNally, Chase Jarvis, Tom Lowe, Jeremy Cowart, and many other photographers….my favorite from the old days being Halsman. All of those photographers have great styles all their own…if there is anything I can imitate from them it would be their attitude toward the craft. They all have a great attitude toward what they do and strive to do better without comparison. I think great photos start with a good attitude first.

  3. February 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm —

    Great article Kristin and so true, not that i am a professional photographer, however i am making camera bags and on lots of forums and see this is real problem with all my dear friends. Its great to see encouraging words hugs 3annies

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The Danger of Comparing Yourself to Other Photographers